Representative Dorothy F. Carpenter View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 4/2/2011
Birth Place: Ismay, Montana
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
House: 69 (1981) - 75 (1993)
Home County: Polk
Dorothy F. Carpenter
Polk County


Dorothy “Dottie” Carpenter was born on March 13, 1933 in Ismay, Montana. Raised on a ranch in Montana, she helped her father round up cattle and protected lambs from coyotes. She graduated from Custer County High School in Miles City, Montana in 1951 and then graduated from Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa with a degree in History in 1955.

In 1955, she married Tom Carpenter whom she met at Grinnell College. She taught elementary school for three years in Houston, Texas while Tom served in the military. They moved to Iowa City where Tom earned his law degree and they had their first child. After he completed school they moved to West Des Moines and had their second child.

Dorothy “Dottie” became active in the community volunteering as a member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, League of Women Voters, Common Cause and Iowa Women’s Political Caucus. After her service to the Iowa people she served on the West Des Moines Human Rights Commission and Terrace Hill Society Board. She volunteered for the Planned Parenthood Book Sale, a reading mentor at Wallace School, and a co-founder of the Ark, a children’s church school class for three to five years olds at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church.

Dottie was a Republican from Polk County. She was first elected in the fall of 1980 and served for seven terms. During her time she served as assistant minority floor leader in the Seventh, Seventy-first and Seventy-second General Assemblies. She served as Chair of State Government and Ethics Committee from 1992-1994.

Dorothy Carpenter passed away on April 2, 2011 at the age of 78.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EIGHTY-FIFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF IOWA, That in the passing of the Honorable Dorothy Carpenter, the State has lost an honored citizen and a faithful and useful public servant, and the House by this Resolution would express its appreciation of her service.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be spread upon the Journal of the House, and that the Chief Clerk be directed to forward an enrolled copy to the family of the deceased.